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Career Summary

Nick was an Account Director at Heathcroft Communications before it was acquired by Teneo in February 2013. He started his career working in the European Parliament for an MEP and since gained considerable years of experience of public affairs work with previous roles at Financial Dynamics (FD) and Gardant Communications. A former County Councillor and National Chairman of Conservative Future, Nick has worked on a number of Parliamentary campaigns and sits on the board of the Conservative Co-Operative Movement. He is also a Trustee of ‘United in the Community’ - a sports and educational charity.

What academic/professional qualifications do you have?

BA Politics, University of Essex

How did you get into Public Affairs?

I had just graduated from University and needed to satisfy my keen interest in politics. Public Affairs seemed the natural the choice and I was very lucky that FD had a job on offer.

What skills and characteristics are most important for a career in Public Affairs?

You need a genuine interest in politics and current affairs with strong writing and people skills. It is the art of persuasion after all.

Which campaign/issue are you most proud to have been worked on?

Recently advising the Royal National College on the 2014 Children and Families Act and specifically, the provision for young people with special educational needs.

I gave a presentation to the politics students at the college a few weeks ago on the 2015 General Election. It felt very satisfying knowing that I had played a role in securing an education for them and the wider future of the college.

What do you enjoy about working in public affairs?

I have been fortunate to have worked on clients across multiple sectors and industries. Explaining what I do to people outside the Westminster bubble, it makes for interesting conversation (I think) and feel very lucky that I am not stuck in your average 9 till 5 job.

What is it about working in a consultancy that most appeals to you?

The potential to cover 3 or 4 very different policy areas a day, 5 days a week, the opportunity to meet interesting people – and the privilege of spending as much time as possible in Westminster.

Having been National Chairman of Conservative Future as well as a Councillor, how helpful do you think an active party involvement has been to your career?

There are plenty of people who have carved out very successful careers without have any formal links or experience with any particular party. A good lobbyist needs to have a thorough understanding of the political process matched with a clear grasp of how policy impacts a client’s business or organisation.

What do you think will be the biggest change to Public Affairs over the next five years?

With the new lobbying register soon to be enforced I can see the industry coming under further pressure very soon. There are too many holes in it. It is a shame as there are some excellent people with integrity doing fantastic work in our industry. We need to do much more to address the various misconceptions of what it is we actually do.

What's your prediction for the 2015 General Election?

Conservative Minority.

Quick-Fire Round  
If you could be somebody else for the day (past or present), who would it be and why? Ricky George on Saturday, February 7th 1972. (he scored the winning goal for my beloved Hereford United against Newcastle in one of the biggest FA Cup shocks)
LinkedIN or Twitter? Twitter
Tweet your career-to-date in 140 characters or less #cut&pastefromhansard, #toryboy, #canvassing, Palace of Westminster, @consfuture, @Marquis_Granby, #weeklymonitoringreports, Teneo, 2015 Election
What’s your Media diet? Telegraph email in the morning, Sky News throughout the day, tomorrow’s papers from Politics Home in the evening.
Favourite Film Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Guilty pleasure Sausage & Egg McMuffin

Read Nick Vaughan’s advice for students and recent graduates in the GraduateForward Advice Centre where he answers questions including: What was the best piece of advice you were given when trying to break into Public Affairs? If you could time travel back to your final year at University, what advice career would you give yourself?

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